Britons praise ‘common sense’ move to block Andrew and Harry

King Charles snubs Andrew in statement to Parliament

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Buckingham Palace has announced that non-working members of the Royal Family will no longer be expected to stand in for the Sovereign as Counsellors of State. This means Prince Andrew and Prince Harry cannot deputise for King Charles III, a move backed by 95 percent of Express.co.uk readers in a new poll.

Peers in the House of Lords met on Monday, November 21, to debate the Counsellors of State Bill, which could see more senior royals eligible to conduct official duties when the King is absent abroad or in ill health.

The legislation would add Prince Edward and Princess Anne as Counsellors in addition to the current five – Queen Consort Camilla, Prince William, Harry, Andrew and Princess Beatrice. 

Lord True, the Lord Privy Seal, said that the proposal was a “practical solution to ensure that the machinery of Government can continue”, adding that the Royal Household had said only working royals could be called upon.

Lord Berkeley supported the Earl of Wessex and Princess Royal being given the positions and put forward an amendment to exclude non-working royals, proposing that Counsellors of state should not include anyone who had not “undertaken royal duties on a regular basis” for the preceding two years.

In a poll that ran from 11am on Tuesday, November 22, to midday on Friday, November 25, Express.co.uk asked readers: “Do you support blocking of Andrew and Harry as royal stand-ins?”

Overall, 7,891 readers responded with the vast majority, 95 percent (7,528 people) answering “yes”, in support the blocking of Andrew and Harry.

A further four percent (329 people) said “no” against it, while one percent (34 people) said they did not know.

Dozens of comments were left below the accompanying article as readers debated the exclusion of non-working royals deputising for the King.

Many readers argued that Andrew and Harry should be blocked from exercising their Counsellor of State powers, like username ChwaraeTeg, who said: “Neither of them is fit to represent the Royal Family.”

Username VPH wrote: “It’s ludicrous to have Andrew and Harry, even on the list of Counsellors of State, so I support the poll 100 percent,” while Username gerry9 said: “They should be exempt from representing the King in matters of state which would affect the entire country.”

Username seashore girl said: “It’s merely common sense that those who stand in for the King should be working royals knowledgeable about The Firm’s current affairs.”

And username JanetWCQ1958 added: “Absolutely. They are not working royals anymore and Harry doesn’t even live in this country anymore so neither of them should ever be permitted to stand in for the King.”

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In addition, some readers suggested that both Andrew and Hary should have their dukedoms revoked too. Username Tia2 said: “Most definitely and needs to go further no Duke title for either York or Sussex.”

Likewise, username sharronhammo wrote: “The sooner the better this and titles are removed from them.”

Username Debby Fry said: “Parliament NEEDS to strip Andrew and Harry of titles and Counsellors of State. They are the only ones who can do it.”

Another, username KatieBG said: “If the Royal Family is sincere they need to remove Andrew and Harry from not only duties but the line of secession.”

Royal commentator Angela Levin claimed there was “good reason” to make the move, and told MailOnline that it had been handled in a “diplomatic way”.

She said that “Harry and Meghan would be absolutely furious” with the decision, adding: “But he lives in California, he’s stopped being a working royal, so why should he [be a Counsellor of State]? It isn’t about Harry,’ but instead what the King needs.”

Ms Levin continued, claiming that the public “would be absolutely furious” if Andrew was asked to stand in for the King.

She also praised the King’s decision to add Edward and Anne as “very sensible”, and said: “Reading between the lines, it allows him the ensure that the right people are doing the right job. Trips abroad are reportedly planned for both the King and Queen Consort and the Prince and Princess of Wales, so this absolutely had to happen.”

The Bill will move to its next stage imminently before heading to the House of Commons. The BBC reports that the Government is not expected to accept the proposal to exclude Andrew and Harry.

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